We often give credit for our abilities to cook to our family members. Usually, it's our mother or a grandmother, and I'm among those that give my ability to cook to them. However, every now and then, my father, Ned Dedmon, would go into the kitchen and make a recipe that became his signature dish, "Lasagna". And I watched him make this numerous times and would learn something different about being in the kitchen each time!
My father would make this lasagna for both family and company. I never heard him say why he chose this as his special dish, but he could prepare it so well. Many times, there would be some leftover and I always enjoyed having it the next day for lunch. Sometimes, I would even eat it cold! Therefore, good as it is, I'm passing it along to you.
His recipe is much like most lasagna recipes are: layers of pasta, cheese and meat sauce. This isn't really hard to prepare, but there are several steps involved in putting it together. You make the meat sauce with ground beef, tomatoes, tomato paste and a number of seasonings. The cheese portion is cottage cheese, eggs and Parmesan, as well as more seasonings. And of course, you have the lasagna noodles. All of this is layered together and baked. Serve this hot with plenty of garlic bread and a salad and it's a sensation!
Though his recipe doesn't call for it, if you like more spiciness in your lasagna, you may want to try sausage, particularly the Italian sausage. Or, if you choose, a combination of both would be good. If you are concerned about reducing your red meat intake, you could use ground turkey breast. Regardless of which meat you use, make certain to drain off the fat after browning the meat. The more fat in your sauce, the worse off the finished lasagna is.
Another popular Italian recipe is for "Bruschetta", the classic pizza-like appetizer. I shared a recipe for this a while back and if you missed it, here's the link to get it again:
Give this a try and see if it will become YOUR signature dish!
NED DEDMON'S FAVORITE LASAGNE
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 can (15-1/2 oz.) tomatoes
- 1 can (12 oz.) tomato paste
- 1 box (10 oz.) lasagna noodles
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
Brown the beef slowly, draining off the extra fat. Add the next five ingredients and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse. Beat the eggs and add the remaining ingredients, except for the Mozzarella. Layer half of the noodles in a 9x13 inch baking dish; spread with half of the cottage cheese mixture; top with half of the Mozzarella cheese, followed by half of the meat sauce. Repeat with the remainder of all ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.